Shakespeare's Spectacular Bodies (EAS3127)

30 credits

This module looks at Shakespeare’s narrative poem The Rape of Lucrece, as well as a number of Shakespearean and pre-Shakespearean plays of different genres.

We consider Shakespeare’s conception of the human body as both a metaphor and a literal presence on stage or screen and seek to answer questions, such as: What is the influence of genre on the representation of gender and the body? How can we characterise the relationship between gender, race and violence in Shakespearean portrayals of rape? What use does Shakespeare make of the human body as a theatrical property?

Besides contemporary images and texts, we study more recent critical thinking about Renaissance conceptions of the body as well as present-day stage and screen representations of ‘Shakespearean’ bodies.